When LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the Miami Heat as free agents before the 2010-11 season, there was buzz building that the trio, including Dwyane Wade, could become the next dynasty in the NBA.
Fast forward to today and the Miami Heat won two championships while those stars shared the court together. But another member of those Miami Heat teams believes he was one of the most important pieces to the puzzle. Veteran forward Udonis Haslem has been an influential part of the Heat organization over the course of his 18 years in the league. Although Haslem isn't known as a star, he's been one of the more popular "glue-guys" in the NBA and his impact cannot be overlooked.
In a recent interview with Tyler R. Tynes of GQ, Haslem claimed the Heat couldn't have won any of the championships without his contributions. He said:
"I don’t care what nobody say, I had my moments and we don’t win none of those rings without me. I did my job and that’s all you can do: Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. I had some critical moments where I had to step in and hold down the fort."
Udonis Haslem is among a rare breed of veterans in the league
There's no denying that Haslem is one of the most passionate competitors in the NBA. He has been a valuable asset to every roster with his ability to make an impact on both sides of the floor. Haslem went into more detail of his contributions to the Heat during the interview, even sharing some light on what his teammate Dwyane Wade thought of him. He said:
"Thank God [Wade] stood up and said, ‘we need this motherf—–.’ Because sometimes people get caught up in dollar signs and what makes ‘cents’ doesn’t always make sense."
While a quote like this is going to draw plenty of overreaction, it doesn't sound too crazy if you break it down. Fans and basketball analysts love to talk about the star power that NBA teams have. It's no secret that these are the first players to drive conversation when it comes to how a team's championship run. But the truth is that the depth of a team is just as important.
With a number of teams having to deal with injuries and other setbacks throughout the season, players that can step up and make a positive impact are a valuable resource.
Haslem has been one of those guys, as he's been able to become a valuable rotational player who can come in and do the "dirty work" that many players aren't willing to do. For a player who has been a part of three Miami Heat championships over the course of his career, Udonis Haslem might just have a point.